On the second day of Festivus, TV gave to me... two series finales.
Shows end all the time. Sometimes shows purposefully bow out to end on a high note, and sometimes shows unexpectedly get axed. Some pack a punch in their short lives, some get drawn out over several decades and end amidst a chorus of "Finally!" Seriously. Shows end all the time.
Which is why it's absolutely cruel that I was assigned to pick only two 2009 series finales to write about. Come on! Two. That's a lot of pressure to put on a girl.
What we have always feared to be true about men and women is now being turned into a sitcom. According to Variety, the book 'Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid' by 'Samantha Who' writer Jenny Lee and 'According to Jim' executive producer Howard J. Morris is getting the small screen treatment from ABC.
This is an excellent way for Belushi to wash the stench of According to Jim from his person. If presented as a dramedy (much like many of the popular dramas today), this could be a winner.
But for the last five years or so, the reigning champ of that list was According to Jim, both because of its inexplicable longevity and its questionable quality. Now, with Jim Belushi's vanity project finally gone, it looks like another show has taken its place: FOX's 'Til Death.
The network just doesn't want to let the show die. Every time the show is in a low-rated slot, the network moves it to one that's higher-profile in an attempt to boost ratings. Case in point: the Brad Garrett sitcom will be replacing Brothers on Sundays at 7, starting January 10, after football's regular season is over.
Having recently installed Verizon Fios, I've spent the last few months ignoring my wife and young son so I could explore what the 500 channel landscape looks like. Like Charlton Heston in the Forbidden Zone, I was shirtless, on horseback, and ready to uncover some sad truths about the world.
Here's the question I've come back with: what if there isn't enough talent for humanity to adequately fill 500 channels?
If you care about such things, then spoilers follow about the series finale.
Absent from the network's fall schedule launch this morning (see the full schedule at Variety) were a number of freshman series, including 'Cupid,' 'In the Motherhood' and 'The Unusuals.'
'Motherhood' faced a number of hurdles early on, including poor ratings that subsequently caused the series' episode order to be sliced in half. ABC also tried numerous ways to promote 'The Unusuals' -- even airing it twice a week -- but the show never caught on.
Also getting the boot are 'According to Jim,' which finally ends its eight season run, and the previously announced 'Samantha Who?' 'Samantha' was reportedly cancelled when the show failed to come up with appropriate budget cuts.
Ah, 2009. Come in, come in! Have a seat at my crystal ball. Oh, I know it's cracked, but don't worry -- it's still useful.
You are so young, so virile, my little new year. You are also ripe...ripe for me to predict your future. I see plenty in my cracked crystal ball -- yes, yes, it's working just fine. Some of it is good, some is bad, and the rest I can't see because of all the cracks. Those predictions probably don't mean much anyway. I mean, Dustin Diamond being cast in a remake of Cop Rock? Who would believe such tripe?
Oh, don't get up! Yes, Allison gave us her predictions already, but that was with a different ball. So, sit, sit, and let me predict your future in television through my fractured sphere.
These and other shows were left out of the big four's (unless you count the CW) lineups for the new 2009 schedules, but have not been announced as officially canceled yet.
That means these shows are sitting in the death chamber with baited breath for a last minute reprieve or a death certificate. If there is a God watching over us, then these are the shows that will get the needle.
... Twelve shows a stinkin'
That aroma tickling your nose is not one from an oven full of fresh gingerbread cookies. No, it's from a television full of burned-out ideas and gutted hulks of viewers who can't take the crap that is heaped upon them. That's because, more than ever, there is a lot of stink on the television landscape. Most of it is due to inordinate amounts of reality programming which has flooded the market. The rest is due to the lack of new ideas for an industry that is rapidly changing.
In order to start our annual Festivus countdown we have compiled a scientifically proven list of 12 shows just stinking up the flat screen. And, when I say 'scientifically proven' I mean I just asked a bunch of people off the street about shows they disliked. So, it's as accurate as it possibly can be. Nevertheless, I'm sure you'll have opinions, one way or another, on these shows and others not on the list. So, if you have your nose plugs, let's begin.
(10PM, Oxygen) 3rd season premiere
Two things suggest this season of the 'Bad Girls Club' might be even better (which is to say, an even bigger guilty pleasure) than last season: Each episode expands to an hour long, and the line-up of titular bad girls is even more prone to drama than Tanisha, Jennavecia and Cordelia.
The seven new baddies meet up at their swanky new Los Angeles abode in the premiere, and it isn't long before they're hitting the clubs for some boozin' and cruisin' fun.
Of course, where bad girls are concerned, cocktails and fellas usually leads to fights, and by the end of tonight's episode, they'll have thrown down with their fellow partygoers and each other.
The election - Yes, it was too long. And, yes, it was exasperating at times. But it was the source of a lot of entertaining television. Of course, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and SNL were in top form (Tina Fey became a huge star, thanks to Sarah Palin). But entertainment came in many forms this election season, from Katie Couric's skewering of Palin to David Letterman's spat with McCain to just about anything that came out of Joe Biden's mouth. Finally, I have three words of infinite entertainment for you: Chuck Todd's goatee.
And when I mention "talent," I don't mean series creator Ed Yeager, who helped foist Still Standing on the American public for four years. I'm talking about stars Jay Mohr, Paula Marshall, Ed Begley Jr., and Jaime King, as well as esteemed sitcom director James Burrows. They're talented people stuck in a show that contains the same wacky plots and "setup-joke" rhythm that has led many to think the multi-camera sitcom is as dead as disco.
Screenwriters Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith have sold a script about their crazy creative process, which, apparently, involves plenty of champagne and therapy, according to an L.A. Times column about the pair. ABC Studios took notice of the column and approached the duo about spinning a show out of it.
Now ABC Studios has the script and is developing a series about what it calls "their friendship, partnership, and (mis)adventures in Hollywood," reports The Hollywood Reporter. If it's a go, Lutz and Smith will pen the pilot and stay on as consulting producers.
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